Here, and here.

The Andrew Sullivan/James Joyner vs. DougJ and John Cole debate (linked above) strikes me as very important to discuss at this particular point in our history. And at least Joyner and Cole/DougJ take comments.

We need to reduce defense by about 25%, raise taxes on the rich, means test safety net programs, dramatically invest in infrastructure and alternate energy, and soon, or we are going to be sniffing China’s ass for the next 200 years, or until they get as stupid as we did, whichever comes first. And has any ex-#1 EVER reclaimed their status in the realm of geopolitics?

I don’t recall one. But I’m not an intellectual.

Strength comes from within.

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Not mine, but obviously true:

What if investigation after investigation discovered that the Muslim church had engaged in a decades-long cover-up of massive criminal activity involving the molestation and raping of children? What if it involved countless Muslim religious leaders, imams, and others? What if one of the highest Sunni leaders in the world was complicit in hiding sex crimes committed against deaf kids? Do you think for a moment that the outrage would not be so massive as to force mosques to close and for schools to go bankrupt? Many, many people would be justifiably jailed. There would be congressional investigations. Republicans would be calling for any faith-based funds to be banned from going to Muslim organizations because, indeed, some of the money may have been indirectly used to pay off victims and to shuffle the perpetrators from city to city. Hell, there would be death threats, vandalism, if not outright violence, against mosques and people. Yes, Islam in America, if not in the West entirely, would be assaulted from all corners…[snip]

Of course, because it’s the Catholic Church, despite whatever revulsion there is against those who committed the assaults and those who engaged in racketeering by conspiring to hide it from authorities, we are supposed to accept that it’s simply the actions of the few and not the infection of the entire faith.

My line is irretrievably crossed. The Pope his Own Self is neck deep in the German “Revelations.” The priest in Milwaukee was sentenced by The Church to 24 years of working with more children AFTER he was found to be molesting DEAF kids. Their qualifications for preaching “good and evil” or even right and wrong to me are akin to my asking Ted Bundy for dating advice. But I guess, hey, at least they don’t fly planes into buildings.

Just for the record, even the Mafia thinks this shit is gross.

The idea that they’re not even paying taxes makes me want to puke.

Adding that if you still feel the need to bleat while the Dogs feed on you, the Sheep, as the Pigs give cover, have at it. Just don’t ask me to understand it.

The Man is an ass. Beware.

J

Also.

I haven’t seen the movie, almost precisely because I know it will bum me out.

Sheesh, boy, wow!

Though the smart money was on something along these lines from the beginning. Too weird not to have an “affair of the heart” in mind. Not even a low life corporate hack like me disappears from the job without telling anyone where I am. And I’m not, to say the least, running a state.

I feel sorry for him. Love happens. Monogamy was invented when “’til death do you part” was a blissfully short 20-30 years if you were lucky, and death freed you.

He also showed me a lot of personal guts in terms of the levels of confession he reached.

All that being said, the GOP REALLY needs to take a good long hard look at some of their “family values” planks. There are votes out there in them thar hills, for a political party who pledges to leave us all the fuck alone in our personal lives if we’re not doing harm to the public at large. The Dems could use a bit more of this attitude, too.

Sad. I’m entirely capable of holding the simultaneous thoughts in my mind that I can disagree with someone politically, in this case virtually across the board, while respecting them and liking them personally.

I think I might like The Gov. of the great state of SC based on his presser. I sure do have a lot of respect for his wife, who blessedly wasn’t standing by his side while he spilled his guts, even though she’s willing to forgive.

I hope they can work it out. Based on the e-mails, I know it will be difficult. But I also know from my own life-experience that it can be done.

Update: I don’t give a shit who anyone loves, fucks, or marries, including gay people, polygamists, you name it. (I suppose I draw the line at human-animal marriages, but just barely. What do I care? I like animals. Unless the person is married to a damn insect, I’d probably enjoy having them to dinner, all other things being equal.)

Mostly I think government should be out of the marriage and sex/body business.* Period, full stop, end of story. My eyeballs tell me people are almost snowflake-like in their individuality on the matters. This is one of few absolute realities of life: You can’t legislate nor politicize at this level of human complexity and be a sane society. Gotta let people figure it out for themselves this far down in the weeds. The dude (Sanford!) was pen pals with his lover for 8 years, and finally couldn’t help it. (I’m going to speculate here, since it would be irresponsible not to, but I’ll take 3-1 she’s MY idea of beautiful and quite smart.)

For some people, including Republicans, 8 days is enough, as is 8 minutes. Give the guy a break. The man was in love (still is, I’d bet), and unless and until you’ve been fully loaded–imagine getting hit in the carotid–with the drug in Cupid’s arrow (Little known: Yes, Cupid’s arrow has pharmaceuticals in it), you have no idea how absolutely weird, stupid, and irrational it can make a person (yes, that means you) behave.

Update 2: I just heard on the Maddow show that one of things Sanford most enjoyed was having a beer without cameras around, people looking over his shoulder, recording every word, or something along those lines. This came from a SC local reporter.

I like him even more.

*Update 3: I call it, “freedom for all.”

Update 4: It’s a fascinating story. The Rude Pundit checks in with a viable but slightly less charitable take than mine, and Amanda points out some of the weird cultural stuff surrounding the whole ordeal, with typical insight and wisdom.

From who else but the great The Rude Pundit.

Say it, my man.

TRP is a National Treasure of the good and decent kind, as we as Americans are allowed to be rude, as long as we’re not violent, which TRP most certainly is not.

He’s true to our Founders’ crazy free speech ideals, you know. He probably even digs the Bill of Rights in general.

Just because I think it is a funny phrase in the original, I, for one, hope not.

A brief roundup of analysis of our Next Great Movement:

Heywood J, using the reliable K. Rove as his foil.

The Rude Pundit, not one to let this kind of nonsense go without a screed, lays down some Factual on Glenn Beck, hero to morons everywhere.

Atrios has a nice little nugget on the quality of intellectual and moral consistency on display, and IOZ, no fan of the POTUS, weighs in on the same phenemonon.

Thers takes Ross Douthat to school. It must be a Catholic school, too, because the rap on the knuckles with the ruler is loud enough for me to hear and laugh at.

As I kept putting it to my well-educated, reasonably well-informed social set, please reconcile:

So we have a bunch of people protesting, ostensibly, taxes, who if they are truly representative of the population just did or are about to receive a tax cut, formerly the GOP answer to all problems, protesting a tax increase signed into law by a GOP President and GOP Congress (because they knew their plan would lead to massive deficit and debt but their cronies would get rich in the meantime), that leaves the top marginal rate more than 10% lower than it was under the Patron Saint of Modern Conservatism, Ronald Reagan.

That is a Stupid Layer Pie.

I say they just hate the black guy.

They’re appearing all over the place, worldwide.

For example, there sure have been a lot of killing sprees lately. While all the individual reasons may very, there isn’t much question in one man’s mind that a combination of external factors, including but not limited to economic hard times that this time include a lot of bipartisanly precious tax dollars, at least in terms of talk, being funneled up to people with means, mental illness (though I consider this one a bit overrated–who among us is immune to the proverbial edge?–and among the masses, all we’re doing is moving the bell curve of the “wad” towards the edges, SOP in times of change/turmoil), a bit of encouragement from some rather large-megaphoned, wealthy paranoiacs, the prospect of a significant change in the power structure status quo, they all play a role.

Hell, there are a lot of people in this country for whom the concept of gay marriage is a pants-wetter of epic and, usually for me, hilarious but somehow horribly sad proportions. I seriously believe these are kindred spirits of those who couldn’t stand the idea of black people voting or marrying white folk. Or women voting. Lost in the seas of change, and IMHO progress towards the ideal of “freedom for all,” and what used to be standard conservative concepts, individual rights and limited government. (I don’t get why government is in the marriage business at all, personally.)

The least worrisome and most entertaining stress fracture, though, is the one on the conservative/GOP side of the aisle. For a while there, the cannibalism was pretty isolated, as when Kathleen Parker, a pretty solid conservative by any measure, was more or less kicked out of the Club for having the audacity to suggest Sarah Palin was an empty (though pretty) suit, and unworthy of a heartbeat away from the power of the Presidency.

The horror unleashed on her from the right is now the stuff of internet lore. It didn’t, and doesn’t, matter that she happened to be correct as subsequent events and information have, to me, demonstrated. It never does with the boot-strappers. Fall in line or get kicked out of the Club. On the subject of Palin, Parker was not alone. Intellectually competent and consistent conservatives all over the place were vilified for pointing out that Palin was, uh, not exactly the brightest, most knowledgeable bulb in the Christmas tree.

But that was only the beginning. Now the breaks are coming front and center among the right blogosphere, as well as right wing talk radio, formerly an incredibly monolithic if small and intellectually hypocritical bunch.

Michael Savage (obliquely, for sure) attacking Glenn Beck? I wonder if Michael thinks he should have gotten Glenn’s job?

Nah, that couldn’t have had anything to do with it.

Blogger on blogger crime. Bonus! J. Goldberg writes (rights!) for the Los Angeles Times! The consistently hilarious and erudite Thers documents that one as only he can.

And then you have the Independence Day parade-like line of actual elected officials genuflecting to Rush Limbaugh, perhaps the King of the Wingnuts, and one rich dude who can get his hillbilly heroin no matter how bad things get, economically. (Theoretically. Rush is clean and sober. Funny how no one could tell he was stoned while he was struggling with his addiction, but that’s for a different post.)

Strange times.

Update: A good example of the gay marriage wingnut fracas, though I hesitate in a big way to characterize Andrew as a wingnut, as weird as I think it to be both Catholic and gay. I’m not much of a club member, and belonging to one that considers me a freak is very, very strange to me. But to each his/her own Hell! Freedom on the march!